YORKSHIRE WOLDS CYCLE CHALLENGE
Blog 2013 (Doug Peavoy): Blood , Sweat and Slipped Gears.
The story of our 2013 Yorkshire Wolds cycle challenge really started at the 2012 event; I was signed up for it by my girlfriend Fiona. She then had to drop out and a friend of mine took her place and we did the ride. First confession, at this point I had never heard of the Ryedale Special Families charity and I NEVER raise sponsorship when I do events. I just handed over a sum slightly over the minimum sponsorship when I registered on the Saturday morning. However the work put in by the organisers made it probably the best and most friendly ride I have ever taken part in, so when it came to the 2013 ride we willingly signed up, and I decided to make an attempt to raise some funds via sponsorship.
I suppose the first thing we did, and I’m not sure how, was we grew from two to seven people. Myself and Fiona are regular cyclist during the warmer months . My friend Geoff who did the ride with me last year, uses his bike instead of a car whenever possible, and is an all year round cyclist. He enjoyed it so much last year he quickly signed up again. We then invited two friends who had been cyclists but lapsed some years ago into signing up. I was a little surprised when they did as I had been goading them about various events for about 12 months with little impact. Andy being a serious minded person immediately drew up a training plan for himself and Helen.
So far all seems plain sailing as all members of the team have a cycling pedigree so where is the challenge in that? Well after a weekend away we were down our local and chatting with our friend Jason who happens to be the barman. He told us he had signed up for that Yorkshire cycle thingy you told me about. Wow that’s great…. Further conversation revealed that he hadn’t actually got a bike or any cycling gear or done any cycling since his mountain bike was stolen a couple of years ago. His longest ride he could remember was about ten miles. However he did have a spirit for adventure and total confidence in completing the ride though I’m not sure where that confidence came from.
In terms of training Andy and Helen stuck to their plan. I saw the evidence in a series of increasingly long and challenging rides being posted on Facebook . We eventually got together as a four and had a long day doing a loop around the picturesque North Yorkshire moors. A route of around 80 miles with more climbs than the Yorkshire Wolds ride passed us as fit for purpose for the two day ride ahead. Try and get out tomorrow for a short ride just to keep the legs from seizing up I said as we parted. I think he was more concerned about the ten miles in front of him as he made his way back up to Rosedale via Chimney Bank .
Jason in contrast had been quiet on the subject of his cycling preparation. He was busy at work and now in two bands, rehearsing well and had done a couple of gigs. However he had done quite a bit of hiking and wild camping; slinging his hammock between trees up and down the land. Some success though; he now had a bike, a road bike no less donated to him by one of his pub regulars. He had even been on a ride of about 20 miles, progress indeed but more about his trusty steed later.
We became seven a few weeks before the event when we met Owen on a Coast to Coast ride; another keen cyclist who had a spare weekend amongst his other many sportives.
Now here is an important bit; we set up a just giving page. Well actually Fiona did all the setting up and just sent me a link which I included in an email to my work colleagues and friends and we were on the board. We set a target of £100 each and with a little cajoling managed to surpass the target and raised £320 between us. Helen and Andy did even better at £420. I mention the figures only because I was surprised how much the total got to; people surprise you with their generosity.
Jason meanwhile got sponsorship via his pub regulars, waiting for that moment when people are at their most affable when imbibing alcohol. He had a mixture of notes, coins and I.O.U.’s and was most concerned to see it was all documented correctly. “Just hand it over Jason” I suggested as he tried to do a tally for the third time. “I’m sure it will be all gratefully received.”
As I said right at the beginning the organisers put such a lot of effort into making it an enjoyable event, it was nice to be part of making it successful for them and helping them do the work they do. On with the cycling stuff…..
For the weekend itself we all met up for the first time on the Saturday morning of the ride. We had a great forecast for the weekend so were all in good spirits. We put our bikes together and after a little bit of standard maintenance, putting air in the tyres, checking brakes and gears were up to scratch we declared ourselves ready for the road.
Day one of the ride allowed us to get all the hilly stuff in before lunch while we were fresh, the early climbs probably being the most challenging . We all just found our own pace on the climbs and regrouped at the top of the hills. After a little too much waiting Geoff decided to tootle off on his own taking Fiona’s magical jelly babies with him. This was most unfortunate for her as these sweets are guaranteed to get the lucky owner up any hill; I myself have seen them conquer an alpine climb of 1000M. Geoff was next seen at the overnight stop but more of that later too, the remaining six of us stuck together.
I suppose I can keep saying more of that later so I better bottom out the issue of Jason’s bike. As I said it was kindly donated by one of his regulars. What I didn’t mention and what Jason didn’t tell me at the time was that the guy was over six feet tall. Jason I would say is about 5 foot three, even with the seat right down it was still too big for him; his hips were rolling with every pedal stroke. More worrying was the angle of the seat which pointed noticeably upwards. This looked like it was going to be a painful two days to my eyes but onwards we went.
Lunch at the Old Forge with a sea view was a lovely way to pass an hour and according to the Sustrans map one more climb and then virtually flat to the overnight stop. One of the great joys of cycling on quiet roads is the chance to chat with different people about nothing much at all. So for the afternoon our group circulated within itself and we all had a good chinwag, caught up with what was happening with people and learned more about people we were travelling with. We also drank in the lovely scenery.
About 5 miles from the overnight stop we invited Jason to the front to lead us in. He had already beaten his longest ride ever by forty miles and was full of smiles as he knew he was nearly there. As we rode along a tractor pulling a trailer full of hay pulled out in front of us. No problem just fall back and wait for him to turn off. Inexplicably Jason decided to overtake him despite the tractor requiring 80% of the narrow lane. Jason recounted later that it was when he got alongside the tractors rear wheel that he panicked. Luckily he put his front wheel off the tarmac and fell into the hedge. Shaken up and a few cuts and bruises but to my mind bloody lucky. One day we may even laugh about it but not just yet!
Anyway we arrived at the overnight stop. Jason was still shaken but triumphant and it was handshakes all round. A really good days ride and brilliant weather. Jason was walking like John Wayne’s much older and hard working screen double by now. But no matter we were greeted by Geoff like the long lost friends we were. He was already somewhat south of a bottle of wine and a couple of pints of Hello Velo beer. Before the end of the night he thought it was a good idea to dunk a jelly snake in his pint and stick it to his forehead for a photo opportunity. Geoff is 55 and looks after the IT needs of a number of small companies in the Manchester area. Enough said.
The tent went up in no time so off for a shower. Just pump the air bed up first so we won’t get sweaty again. Oh dear a problem with the double air bed. It was on its first outing and despite a number of “we must” conversations “we” hadn’t checked the size of the air inlet and it wasn’t the size of the tracker pump we had brought with us. Fiona went off for a shower and I went for a pint with Geoff and he told me one of the guys he had been riding with had a pump that would fit it. “Yeah” he said “pop that end in the cigarette lighter on your car and it will be up in no time”. Well obviously not even Jason’s bike came with a 12 volt adapter but that nice man Rob Davies from Ryedale Special Families sorted out a car for me to use and it indeed was inflated in no time. I just had to get an inflated double airbed into a two man tent. I ignored the sound of my tent ripping and forced it in, but then got it out again as the flock side was facing down and forced it back in again, no more ripping sounds, result.
The evening food and music cannot go without mention. Lovely BBQ and buffet, and what looked like the local Women’s Institute dessert competition to top it off; more than enough calories to replace the 4000 burnt that day. As the sun went down we drained our glasses and headed for a good night’s sleep.
Next morning the British weather did its usual and turned all moody on us. The promised lovely day did not show itself for the first few hours and after a coldish start we had the pleasure of riding round Beverly three times before abandoning the search for the official sign and just heading in the right general direction. Almost immediately we picked up the route again!
We stopped for a pub lunch and whilst we were waiting for our food to appear were treated to the sight of a gentleman of at least eighty riding his racing tandem tricycle into the pub car park. His passenger was somewhat older and had to be helped out of her rear bench seat to her nearby awaiting lunch table. Both were dressed in full cycling apparel and full of smiles which were infectious to everyone they talked to.
After lunch it was back to the lumpy stuff, Jason was suffering and counting down the miles by then. Just before our next stop at Thixendale Owen had two punctures a few hundred metres apart; always check your tyre inside for sharps before inflating your new inner tube! We fixed the second over a pot of tea and a piece of cake at the village hall and all was well again with the world.
One last climb out of the Valley at Thixendale and onto the final check point. It was mainly downhill from here, and after a final flapjack from our most insistent checker we headed into the home straight. The final miles and knowing that the end was in sight certainly brought extra energy into play and by time we got back to Malton we were all smiles and could have gone another few miles no problem…….just don’t ask us too!!
In the traditions of the closing titles I should say that Geoff is still cycling daily and will do through the coming winter. Fiona and I completed our first cycling trip into the Alps a month after the Wolds ride and our first triathlon a couple of weeks after that. Andy and Helen have rekindled their love of cycling and Owen has done umpteen more cycle challenges since. The real hero of our tale Jason could not sit down for a week afterwards and has not to date touched his bike since.
Finally the Ryedale Special Families Charity continues to help families in need in the North Yorkshire area.
So whether you are a keen cyclist, a cyclist who has lost his way or a complete novice, why not give it a go and give something to a worthwhile charity at the same time. As with life the journey is its own reward.
Blog 2013 (Ellis)
We first thought of taking part in the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Challenge in January when we were contacted by Rob Davies. Working in Rillington, near Malton it was a perfect opportunity to support a great local charity. After mentioning it to a few people at work I was pleasantly surprised by the response and Team Ellis was formed.
We first thought of taking part in the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Challenge in January when we were contacted by Rob Davies. Working in Rillington, near Malton it was a perfect opportunity to support a great local charity. After mentioning it to a few people at work I was pleasantly surprised by the response and Team Ellis was formed.
I think it is fair to say that none of us were seasoned cyclists, trips out with the family or a quick burst around Dalby Forest was the extent of our experience. However, a good few of us cycled to work, so when we introduced a Bike to Work scheme, lots of shiny new bikes started to arrive in the bike sheds.
The training started in the cold winter months and was slow to start with but soon picked up as the weather warmed. We had several rides where we rode in larger groups but we soon split into smaller groups of similar ability, some of the Chris Froome standard, but mostly of the Kevin Keegan standard (if you remember Superstars!). In the months running up to the event we developed a great team spirit. When we weren’t out on our bikes we were discussing our progress or the latest fashions in padded lycra!
When the day finally arrived we were blessed with great weather for the 2 days, dry with very little wind and warm (too hot actually, but not complaining). We set off just after 8 o’clock and settled into a steady pace. Despite the heat we managed to get up Settrington Hill without stopping, and by the time we reached Sledmere we felt we had the worst of the hills behind us.
Passing through some beautiful scenery and chatting to riders along the way, it was a great atmosphere. We had a couple of short stops for refreshments before we stopped for a well-earned lunch in Sewerby.
The second half of the day seemed much easier with fewer hills as thoughts turned to the delights in store at Hutton Cranswick.
We duly arrived at Hutton Cranswick just after 3pm. Satisfied with our efforts we retired for a quick drink at the bar before showering and getting the tents up. It’s a great set up at Hutton Cranswick. We had a lovely evening relaxing in the warm sun, recounting our tales from the day, and feasting on the superb BBQ.
We awoke early the next morning as one of our team decided it was a good idea to take his tent down at 5:20am (you know who you are!)
After a hearty breakfast we set off again. It was a bit cooler on the second morning and soon started to drizzle. The going was pretty easy to start with but we kept a reasonable pace as we knew there were bigger challenges ahead. This section of the ride was new to us all and with other Sustrans routes crossing ours we were careful to consult the map and keep on the right route. Some of our group weren’t quite as careful. They arrived at the first checkpoint going the wrong way having missed Beverley completely!
The sun came out and we even managed to overtake some of the road bikes (ok it was on the short off-road section!). After lunching in Pocklington the climbing started, mostly gentle, with a few steep bits thrown in for good measure. We were just losing the will to live as we climbed out of Thixendale to be greeted by the smiling face of a RSF volunteer offering flapjacks and sandwiches. After a short break we pressed on for the final push, arriving back at Norton College just after 4 o’clock, tired but extremely satisfied with our efforts.
It’s a great ride and manageable for most if you put some training in. Here are our tips for the day:-
• Get some padded shorts!
• Drink and eat regularly to keep your energy levels up
• Riding in a group is much more fun
• It’s easier on a road bike, but if you’re using a mountain bike get a pair of road tyres
• Take your time, it’s not a race. You’ll get much more out of the ride if you pace yourself
Blog 2013 – A Beginners Journey, by Fiona McBeath
In July 2012, following the 2nd running of the Ryedale Special Families Cycle Challenge, one of my friends who had taken part joined us for supper. He had completed the 146 mile cycle challenge around the Yorkshire Wolds in just 2 days, about half an hour before we parked him in front of his supper and a glass of wine. He was truly exhausted but we persuaded him to eat and drink, as he must surely be ravenous and eager to celebrate his success.
I quietly admired his achievement and his hard work in fundraising for Ryedale Special Families. I decided that I would consider taking part in the 2013 event. Still a year away from the actual event It was easy to think, but not so easy to do……similar to a New Year’s Resolution which can be very quickly forgotten!
January 2013 arrived and the urge to attempt the challenge was still there. Consequently, I sent an email asking if anyone would be willing to join my quest. Unsurprisingly most emails read….”I have no bike, no time, broken leg……” you name it, there was an excuse. At the 11th hour one of my closest but least fit friends dropped in her reply……’I am keen, what do I do and when do we start training!’ At last I had a training partner and even more fantastic she would be great company throughout the months of training that lay ahead.
Our training began in January……far too early, but neither of us had ridden a bike since our failed cycle proficiency tests at school, so a head start was a necessity.
We met twice a week initially and three times a week as the date approached. To describe some of our bike rides as horrendous would be an understatement……frost, rain and even blizzards. I booked in to an osteopath to help my breathing, knees and locked neck . It helped me so much that following my recommendation my friend Yvonne booked in too!
We were improving but never ever believed we would achieve a Cycle Challenge covering 146 miles over the Yorkshire Wolds.
The week prior to July 13th approached and we read our training sheet; we should rest for a week prior to the bike ride……how wonderful! A week without a bike ride…oh and lots of pasta!!!
The morning of the Cycle Challenge and the plan was to meet at 7am and enjoy a full English breakfast. The nerves got the better of us and that idea was shelved pretty quickly.
The day began, with extreme nerves. We insisted to the organisers that we were the first to depart as those nerves were getting the better of us. We were a group of 6 and knew we had a long two days ahead.
Without dampening our achievements and the mantra is “it’s not a race”….we were the first group to leave the start at Norton College on the Saturday morning……BUT, the last group to arrive back there on the Sunday evening. We never set a time target as we just wanted to complete the 146 miles in 2 days and all arrive home safely together. The only challenge we set ourselves was to make as much money in donations for Ryedale Special Families as we could.
We can only describe the cycling as equally testing and wonderful. We had to dig deep to find the resilience to endure the searing heat (the first Yorkshire heat wave for years). However the feeling of utter personal achievement as we were greeted by our family and friends at the end was memorable. Our friends, family and work contacts had also pledged an amazing amount of money in anticipation of our success and what a relief to know we could hand over nearly £3000 to Ryedale Special Families knowing we had completed the challenge.
My sister Diana is supported by RSF on a weekly basis as her son Ronnie has severe epilepsy and special needs. To describe RSF as a phenomenal charity would be an understatement as they support many families in the local area with similar situations. A 146 mile bike ride will never be as hard as the challenge these families endure on a day to day basis. We found great strength in knowing that during our times of exhaustion we had to keep going as we were cycling for such an amazing charity.
One word of advice; make sure your handlebars are secured tightly, unlike my husbands, as his fell off half an hour before the finish! His circus skills are not up to much so it was a good job he was going uphill at the time and not down!
I really hope this (very) condensed story will whet the appetite of anyone who is looking for the perfect fitness regime for 2014. It is the ideal combo, overcoming adversity whilst getting fit, having enormous fun and raising money for a charity that really makes a difference in our area.
We had a new mantra this year – “well, we did it last time in atrocious weather, so we can easily do it again”. I say mantra but it was more of an excuse for not getting out training. We had been ever so well behaved the previous year and ate up the miles every weekend, preparing our bottoms for the onslaught to come. Not this year, oh no! Excuse after excuse came out. “It’s a bit drizzly; blimey the wind has got up; really should re-grout the bathroom tiles” etc etc, pathetically etc.
Add to this lack of training (willpower, determination, call it what you will, but I now accept it to be dressed up apathy), my decision to get a new bike which only arrived two days prior to the ride. Another excellent excuse for why I might be slower, weaker, moanier than last year too. “I haven’t got used to the frame, saddle, gears, BELL” Listen to yourself woman. Enough of me moaning about my moaning.
Saturday morning came, rather too quickly after the previous night’s pasta fest if you ask me, but hey who doesn’t use a mammoth physical feat to chow down on a huge bowl of penne!
Bikes out of car, registration completed, helmets on, nothing could stop us now except our mate having forgotten the front wheel to his bike. I am mentioning no names, but he knows who he is and I am for ever indebted to this goliath lack of preparation as I was laughing so deeply I forgot the torture ahead, even for a short time. So, mate now back with front wheel and we really were ready for the off.
I have never been a fan of Settrington bank in a car, having once stalled there during a particularly sadistic driving lesson administered by my Mum who thought I could do with being brought down a peg or two – it worked – unlike the handbrake. Settrington bank on a bike? As memories came flooding back of pushing up in the rain last year, I dug deep and tried my very hardest to stay in the saddle this time, and I nearly managed it, but as a wave of nausea swept through me, my pertinacious spirit departed and I got off and pushed –I had after all got considerably further than the previous year. Hubby and two-wheeled mate did manage it though and some sort of vicarious pride took away the nausea as I made sure the masses of pushers still battling behind, knew I was with these guys!
In the smug knowledge that the worst part of day one was over, we could settle into the saddle and really enjoy ourselves. And enjoy ourselves we did. I would go as far as to say that we had an uproarious, hilarious time. Perhaps we were not getting enough oxygen to the brain (or too much? Hey, I am not a doctor!), but everything seemed outrageously comical and we even took to having little sing songs when not flying down hills or solidly pedalling up them. The world and its wife were discussed and I rather feel that if hubby was put in charge of world economics, mate in charge of renewing a British manufacturing industry and myself looking after resolving world conflict, famine and climate change, our global outlook would be considerably rosier. Ban Ki-moon pay attention.
To cut a long story short –it was a glorious day, which turned into a glorious evening, helped greatly by the soothing fingers of the marvellous on-site masseuse (note to organisers – yes please next year), great banter and camaraderie. An excellent night’s sleep, only slightly marred by the man in the next tent’s nocturnal adenoidal issues, and up and at ‘em the next day.
Hutton Cranswick Sports Centre were seemingly blighted by electrical outages reminiscent of a holiday I once took in Turkey where the electricity only came on between 3am and 6am and always joined forces with the water to take umbrage at someone wanting to actually have a hot shower – who did we think we were? Practicalities aside, breakfast was managed and the staff’s sunny and kind attitude helped us overlook pretty much everything (unlike my Turkey experience where lots of shrugging of shoulders and “well what did you expect for a holiday that cost £6.20 including ouzo” rather made matters worse).
Small drama when we realized that we had packed away the rather soggy tent with the bike lock keys still inside. Mate really laughed at that one, until he realised we had locked our bike to his – ha! Retrieved bikes and off again, into the great undulating hills of the Wolds. Undulating? Undulating? If that isn’t a euphemism for pretty brutal, fairly long and “here comes another”, I do not know what it. That said, the sun was shining and the villages were beautifully bedecked with duck ponds that would make a Conservative MP weep in envy. The wind was a bit of an issue as it seemed to enjoy turning as we did, resulting in a headwind for, well to be honest, pretty much the whole day. However, we were not deterred (or detoured for that matter – unlike last year when getting lost became a new personal pastime), and carried on laughing and singing and putting the world to rights, straight into Thixendale. What a wonderful sight is Thixendale on a nice day, and to boot, the village hall was selling cake, so hubby very happy. Nice long drag (misnomer) out of Thixendale and several more (quite unnecessary in my opinion) hills before the realisation that we were almost back. We had made it. Bottoms a little sore, legs pretty fed up with going round and round and shoulders screaming at me to drop them – but back.
Homeward bound we allowed ourselves rather smug smiles and self-congratulatory thoughts which lasted all the way home until one of us had to go and spoil the magic by saying “we really should do more training for next year”. But what about the drizzle and the wind and I am sure that grouting isn’t going to last another year.
Blog 2011 (Libby Pearson)
As a volunteer for RSF, I felt it would be a great way to celebrate the work they do by taking part in the 2011 Vion Yorkshire Wolds Challenge. As I like to spread the joy, I insisted my husband Greg did it too. We were, at best, fair weather, bimble cyclists so knew that this really was going to be a challenge and set about preparing for it accordingly. Preparation comes in all shapes and sizes and ours was rather a blob shaped mass of apathy for quite some time, until the fear and reality hit. Six weeks to go and we had done, at most, 20 miles in one day – stopped for a picnic, admired the countryside and read our books by the river – all would be well I was sure. It was quite a shock when we really got down to 40 miles a day training, but we were soon amazed at how quickly that morphed into 50 miles and then 60. We punished ourselves with some steep hills and braved rain and wind. We were ready, and thank goodness we had done all weather training because we really needed it. All this time, friends and family are putting their names down on our sponsorship form and giving us extra motivation that really helped.
The weather report for the ride weekend was dire and it did not disappoint. We were soaked to the skin within half an hour and after the first hour, I really did start to wonder what on earth I had got us both into as we stopped to empty our shoes of rain and for Greg to take his glasses off – useless things in the rain we have discovered. Then something remarkable happened – we became exhilarated. We are neither of us sports people and have only heard of ‘hitting the wall’, and ‘being in the zone’, but we could begin to understand what all that sports psychology actually means. By the time we had done 60 miles we were fairly euphoric and it was almost a disappointment to reach camp 15 miles later. That soon wore off when we received the most wonderful welcome from the good folk of Hutton Cranswick Sports’ Centre. The atmosphere just got better and better throughout the evening as we were treated to a fabulous BBQ and live entertainment. The best part was reliving all the scary and hilarious moments of the day with each other. The weather was kind from the moment we arrived at ‘base camp’ and the next morning was great too.
Day 2 was equally exhilarating (and we even managed 20 miles rain free) as we cycled through beautiful countryside, digging deep up the bigger hills and generally motivating and being motivated by the other riders. The ‘finishing line’ was a welcome sight I must say, but it was worth all the effort.
I am already looking forward to next year, in particular the training and feeling so much fitter and healthier; the raising money for this amazing charity; the camaraderie and most of all the sense of self achievement.
Our top tips:
- Start training early
- Get out in all weathers
- Keep your bike in good condition
- Take spare shoes for the second day
- Eat and drink lots! (great excuse)
- Buddy up and ride with someone if you can.
Last weekend, six of us undertook the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle route - this is our story...
Saturday 16th July 2011
Arriving at Norton College at the unearthly hour of 7.15am, any anxieties about the challenge ahead were soon forgotten as I was lulled from the warmth of my car by a bacon buttie made by fellow Inntraveller Beccy. Overnight bags and camping gear were swiftly tagged and deposited in the Vion white van as I also took advantage of the coffee and flapjack on offer at the college; I reckoned the more ‘carbs’ the better at this stage!
The local paparazzi were out in force and after a few obligatory smiles and poses, we were ready for the off, just as the heavens opened. Perfect timing! Lycra-clad, waterproofed and undeterred by the forecast of torrential downpours the 6 intrepid Inntravellers commenced the 146 mile Yorkshire Wolds cycle route and promptly missed the first left turn after the college (some trusty Inntravel route notes wouldn't have gone amiss here!)
Before we even had chance to get warmed up we were confronted by Settrington bank, which quickly sorted the men from the boys! Chris and Pete shot off up the hill in some kind of frenzied 'green jersey' sprint! I took a more leisurely approach, but there was no time to get our breath back before the tough, steep climb up Duggleby Hill then on to Sledmere in the rain! I managed to keep up with Tess as far as Weaverthorpe, puffing and panting as she calmly chatted and cycled with ease.
Eventually, she cycled off into the distance, leaving me on my own as I reached the check-in point at Bempton, via Hunmanby. Then, it was on to Sewerby where I was greeted by a bracing sea breeze on the lovely coastal path into Bridlington. It was 2pm and time to stop for lunch - I was hungry and tired but grateful, at least, that I’d made a last-minute investment in decent waterproofs!
After lunch, the sun came out and I met up with a lovely bunch from Market Weighton who were doing the same ride. The friendly banter was a pleasant distraction from pushing the pedals and in no time at all we reached our overnight stop at Hutton Cranswick. The warm welcome back made the 75 miles – and 6 hours and 30 minutes in the saddle – seem worthwhile. Warm evening sunshine, a sumptuous barbecue, live entertainment, free flowing Wold Top beer and some delicious flapjack made the evening a very pleasant one indeed.
Sunday 17th July 2011
Full English consumed, tents packed away, lubrication applied and water bottles refilled it was time to get back on two wheels! Any thoughts of aching limbs or soreness had to be dismissed as we eased ourselves back onto our saddles; Ouch!
A beautiful sunny morning awaited us as we began our exploration of some of East Yorkshire’s most beautiful and undiscovered parts, including Kilnwick, South Dalton and Etton. The six Inntravellers decided to stick together initially in the name of team building and bonding; we were also joined by Graham, who was responsible for mechanical support and First Aid on the ride.
We approached Beverley to the mighty toll of the Minster bells and headed straight for the Westwood where another Inntravel colleague Carole awaited our arrival, laden with Lucozade and the ubiquitous flapjack! At this point seven became six as Michelle opted for a more leisurely pace and continued bravely along the route ‘riding solo’. After Walkington, we ventured on to Newbald and a gentle off-road section to Goodmanham. Spirits were high, with the boys sprinting for the village signs and plenty of friendly joking and banter!
After 43 miles, we arrived at our lunchtime venue, The World Peace Café & Buddhist Centre at Kilnwick Percy, though leaving the warmth of this lovely café was perhaps the nadir for me - every bone in my body ached, I was extremely saddle-sore and it had started to rain very heavily once more. The thought of 30 miles over Millington and Thixendale filled me with dread, but giving up was not an option.
The steep descent into Millington Dale unearths a beautiful secret valley, which never ceases to take my breath away. However, its sharp bends and wet surface almost got the better of Chris and Pete, who both took a tumble but managed to get back on their bikes and complete the route. Michelle wasn’t quite so lucky and parted company with her bike on the very same descent. She eventually completed the route in comfort and style in a silver Mercedes! She was bruised and battered but courageous to the end!
At 5.22pm precisely we completed our 146 mile journey and we all felt a mixture of relief and elation. We had met some lovely folk in some very beautiful parts of our region - a great achievement and a truly memorable experience that will definitely go into my memory treasure box.
Blog 2011 (Peter & Dylan Holdworth)
Back in the summer of this year my 14 year old son Dylan and I, with stomachs full of flapjack, headed into a monsoon that marked the start of our 146 miles sponsored cycle ride for Ryedale Special Families. Dylan was resolute from the start - not being worried about the prospect of riding under a deluge for the next two days! Water was encroaching on areas that just left me baffled as to how it was getting there! I persuaded Dylan that we needed to take shelter and we spent about an hour in a telephone box outside Sledmere and a kind Pub landlord took pity on us and gave us a very welcome cup of tea.
With the rain still pelting down we carried on with Dylan-like resolution, at the back of the field but pressing forward onto Humanby, where for the first time we could sense that possibly the rain was letting up but by then we were simply beyond caring about getting wet. We grabbed a bite to eat at the Co-op in Humanby and then caught up with two other cyclists. Then the rain stopped and the sun came out for the first time! At seven o clock after a further stop in Bridington for another drink, we arrived at the overnight halfway point at Hutton Cranswick, bringing up the rear to great applause. We had barely enough energy to enjoy the fantastic BBQ with David Swann and Anna Shannon entertaining the troops. Soon it was time to get the tent set up and settle down for the night.
After a great night's sleep we ventured on. I thought that this would be the hardest time but the second day for me was much better . The weather was pretty good and the route was great taking in some beautiful countryside and the historic town of Beverley. Cathie (Hallsworth) turned up at Market Weighton to give us further encouragement and before we knew it we were through Thixendale and on the road home. The final hill near Kirkham Abbey was cruel, but we managed it (without walking) and that was it . Rolling into Malton at about 4.30pm – yet more flapjack and then time to go home with several hundred pounds raised towards the charity.